“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [al-Baqarah 2:185]
Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd
Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allaah. (The version with 2 takbeers is also mentioned in narrations as well)
In this ayah about the month of Ramadan, Allah(SWT) also tells us about its purpose and how we should celebrate it.
1. Allah (SWT) intends for you ease
You may be asking where is the ease in fasting for a month?
A man once found a cocoon of a butterfly and he noticed a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What this man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through your life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly….
Since you have trained for one month, everything else He shows for you outside Ramadan should be easier. This goes double for all those undertaking exams at the moment – may Allah(SWT) grant you all success.
Go easy on others as well
Imam Ahmad recorded Anas bin Malik saying that Allah’s Messenger said:
Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion. [Bukhari and Muslim]
It is also reported in the Sahihayn that Allah’s Messenger said to Mu`adh and Abu Musa when he sent them to Yemen:
(Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion; and love each other, and don’t differ.)
2. Celebrate that Ramadan is over
You have completed the fixed days of the month and that is a major blessing. The hadith in Sahih Bukhari states Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.
Years ago, I was on Hajj travelling between Makkah and Madinah following the completion of the Hajj rites. I was seated next to an American brother and we got chatting. He was a revert and had been eagerly looking forward to the pilgrimage. As we talked, I said we hope for acceptance – who knows if we are worthy. To this, he replied quite frankly and said “No. I accepted this Deen with certainty in Allah(SWT) and I know He is the Most Just and Most Generous. For sure, if I have completed my side of the deal, He (SWT) too will fulfil His part.” He taught me a great lesson about the importance of trusting that Allah(SWT) will reward us once we have completed His set number of days.
And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. [Surah Hud: 115]
Have high hopes in Allah(SWT) – after you have completed an action, know that He (SWT) WILL reward you. And know that you will be rewarded better than you deserve because He is the Most Generous.
3. Declare Allahs greatness
Throughout Ramadan you made Allah(SWT) akbar – the greatest thing in your life, for a whole month. You held back from what was permitted nad and strove harder than ever for a whole month.
Now its time for you to believe that Allah is truly the Greatest outside of Ramadan too.
Celebrate Eid in obedience to Allah(SWT)
The word Eid is derived from the word ‘awd (return) of all those blessings which were prohibited for you are returned to you i.e. food, permitted intimate relations. Also because we have returned to Allah(SWT) in the days of Ramadan.
The other meaning of Eid is derived from the word ‘aada (habit) because we have become accustomed to obedience of Allah (SWT) in these days leading up to Eid.
We know that the Shayaateen and Jinn may have been released but thats not an excuse to let her nafs run rampant. It was once said that you should always say Bismillah before drinking water as there are 3 jinns in your cup – two Hydrojinns and one Oxyjinn 😉
يقول ابن رجب: ليس العيد لمن لبس الجديد، إنما العيد لمن طاعاته تزيد، ليس العيد لمن تجمل باللباس والركوب، إنما العيد لمن غفرت له الذنوب
“Eid is not for the one who wears new clothes. Eid is for the one whose obedience rises. Eid is not for the one with beautiful clothes and fine means of transport, Eid is for the one whose sins are forgiven.”
قال الحسن البصري: كل يوم لا يعصى الله فيه فهو عيد، كل يوم يقطعه المؤمن في طاعة مولاه وذكره وشكره فهو له عيد
Ibn Rajab reported: Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Every day in which Allah is not disobeyed is a celebration (Eid). Every day the believer spends in obedience, servitude, remembrance, and gratitude is a celebration.” Source: Lata’if Al-Ma’arif 1/278
Allah(SWT) is proud of you – the believers
4. Be grateful
Be grateful for your family and friends. Fix your relationships – this is one of those rare times you gather with family. Like you have shown humility with your sajdah and suppressing your desires this month, lower yourself seeking Allahs Pleasure and be the bigger person by initiating salaam and forgiving others.
‘Abdullah ibn al-‘As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, irhamo turhamoo, waghfiroo yaghfirullahu lakum “Show mercy and you will be shown mercy. Forgive and Allah will forgive you. Woe to the vessels that catch words (i.e. the ears). Woe to those who persist and consciously continue in what they are doing.”
When Mistah ibn Uthaathah indulged in gossip during the slander incident (al-ifk), and Allah sent down revelation confirming the innocence of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), Abu Bakr, who had been spending on Mistah because he was his relative and was poor, said: By Allah, I shall never spend anything on Mistah again after what he said about ‘Aa’ishah. Then Allah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning):
“And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah , and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”
Abu Bakr said: Yes indeed, by Allah, I would like Allah to forgive me. So he resumed spending on Mistah as he used to do, and he said: By Allah, I shall never deprive him of it. [Bukhaari (4381) and Muslim (4974)[
Count your blessings
In the midst of our Eid celebrations, let us also not forget how differently Eid is being celebrated right now in Gaza, in Iraq, in Syria, Yemen, among the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, Myanmar and other places of conflict around the world. Allah has given us the blessing of safety and security over here. We sometimes forget how lucky we are. We should be grateful for the freedom and security that we enjoy in this county, freedoms we often take for granted. Remember them in your dua and remember all you have to be grateful for.
Enjoy your day
It was narrated that Nubayshah al-Hudhali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The days of at-Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah.” [Muslim (1141)]
Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) included this hadith in a chapter entitled: The concession allowing play in which there is no sin during the days of Eid.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said “In this hadith we learn that it is prescribed to be generous to one’s family and children during the days of Eid, with different kinds of things that will bring them pleasure and joy, and allow the body to relax after the effort of worship.” We also learn that expressing joy on Eid is one of the symbols of Islam. [Fath al-Baari (2/514)]
Don’t let differences and debate divide you this Ramadan.
Eid is not a vacation from Islam
وفي رواية للإمام أحمد في المسند صححها : وإنما الأعمال بالخواتيم
Indeed actions are by their endings (Ahmad). Any moment could be our end and its important to ensure we remain in the limits of Allah(SWT).
Jahannum has 7 doors but Jannah has 8 doors, of which one is exclusively for those who have fasted.
Sahl (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” (al-Bukhaari, 1763; Muslim, 1947).
We have spent the whole month fasting and worshipping and now we have a chance to walk through the gate of Rayaan. Why would we choose any of the other doors?
Eid is distinguished by its extra worship – these 2 rakaat you are here to pray. Then enjoy the rest of the day sharing food, wearing your best clothes (ensure they are modest and befitting), visit friends and family.
In Islam, we can disagree without being disagreeable
We are living through one of the most confusing and divisive periods of modern British history – Brexit. Yet, you don’t see people cutting off relations, insulting one another and calling one another disbelievers in a better Britain? Similarly, we too should recognise that of the blessings of Islam is difference of opinions so long as they are grounded in Islamic sources. There is no need to compel others to your opinion or disrespect them or their opinion. Bare love, cuzzy!
Don’t forget others – keep up your generosity
We have so much good food prepared on Eid and a lot may go to waste. Share the blessing of this day with others – there are many reverts and Muslims who are alone this day. Don’t forget them today. Share with your neighbours, student peer and colleagues too – let them know we have something to celebrate.
“Surely the ones who have said, “Our Lord is Allah, ” thereafter they have gone straight, upon them the Angels keep coming down (saying), “Do not fear (anything), nor do you grieve, and have good tidings of the Garden that you are promised.”
Ask yourself what one act, however small, you can keep up from Ramadan. The scholars explain that the sign of an accepted act is that its a turning point in your life – you are better after it than before.
Perhaps you kept away from bad language? Wasting time forwarding irrelevant or divisive things on social media? A new dua? A page of Quran? Whatever it is, find something small you can keep up.
A youngster came to the masjid and asked to become really pious so he was pointed to 3 people, the first was a little pious, the second more so and then the third, the most pious. So he thought he would test their piety. He went to the first and slapped him – he didnt even react so the youth thought that this guy really is pious. He approached the second person and slapped him and that man looked up and out of concern said “Is your hand OK brother?” He was impressed and moved on to the third person. When he slapped him that man gave him 2 slaps. He was shocked and said I wasnt expecting that to which the man explained that someone somewhere needs to stop you slapping people.